Mergers and Acquisitions

Netskope nabs Sift Security to enhance infrastructure cloud security

Netskope, a company that focuses on security in the cloud, announced today it has acquired Sift Security, a startup launched in 2014 to help secure cloud infrastructure services like Amazon, Microsoft and Google using machine learning. The company did not share terms of the deal, but Sift’s 10 technical employees will become part of Netskope’s 500+ person team and Sift CEO Neil King will lead the Netskope IaaS product management team moving forward. While Netskope provides comprehensive cloud and website security from a single interface, Sift uses machine learning to provide breach detection and automated response for Infrastructure as a Service environments, even across multiple clouds. Netskope founder and CEO Sanjay Beri says together the two companies can offer more security visibility...

The largest buys of tech’s Big Five: a look at M&A deals

In startup land, the mandate is to get bought, go public or die trying. And, as far as getting bought goes, one of tech’s Big Five could be a desirable acquirer. They have a lot of weight to throw around. Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft account for a titanic amount of market value — close to $3.9 trillion at time of writing. At least, that’s according to Crunchbase News’s dashboard of notable tech stocks. When challenged by one another, these hulking behemoths of the tech sector more often fight than flee. And when challenged by a scrappy upstart, it is likely that they will gobble up the talent, technology and business of any aspiring competitor. It’s the circle of life. And it’s those acquisitions we’re going to look at here. Taken together,...

US startups off to a strong M&A run in 2018

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Scaling startups are setting up secondary hubs in these cities Here is where CEOs of heavily funded startups went to school With Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub this week, we can now decisively declare a trend: 2018 is shaping up as a darn good year for U.S. venture-backed M&A. So far this year, acquirers have spent just over $20 billion in disclosed-price purchases of U.S. VC-funded companies, according to Crunchbase data. That’s about 80 percent of the 2017 full-year total, which is pretty impressive, considering we’re barely five months into 2018. If one included unreported purchase prices, the totals would be quite a bit higher. Fewer than 20 percent of acquisitions in our data set came with reported prices.1 ...

Workday acquires Rallyteam to fuel machine learning efforts

Sometimes you acquire a company for the assets and sometimes you do it for the talent. Today Workday announced it was buying Rallyteam, a San Francisco startup that helps companies keep talented employees by matching them with more challenging opportunities in-house. The companies did not share the purchase price or the number of Rallyteam employees who would be joining Workday . In this case, Workday appears to be acquiring the talent. It wants to take the Rallyteam team and incorporate it into the company’s engineering unit to beef up its machine learning efforts, while taking advantage of the expertise it has built up over the years connecting employees with interesting internal projects. “With Rallyteam, we gain incredible team members who created a talent mobility platform that uses m...

S&P Global snares Kensho for $550 million

S&P Global announced today that it will acquire Kensho, a Cambridge, Massachusetts startup that has concentrated on artificial intelligence and analytics for big financial institutions. The total value of the deal is $550 million in a mix of cash and stock. Kensho, which counted S&P Global as a client/partner and an investor, launched in 2013 and has raised $67.5 million, according to Crunchbase. The most recent funding round was in fact led by S&P Global for $50 million in February 2017. They apparently liked Kensho so much, they bought the company. “In just a short amount of time, Kensho’s intuitive platforms, sophisticated algorithms and machine learning capabilities have established a wide following throughout Wall Street and the technology world,” S&P global president ...

Raise softly and deliver a big exit

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor: In the world of venture capital, the prospect of a successful “exit” looms large in the minds of investors. A VC’s business model is less about the money that goes into a startup than it is about what comes out. It’s true that most companies fail to exit gracefully, and of those that do, surprisingly few exit by going public. The majority of exits take place through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). For most investors of this ilk, it’s not always the size of the exit that matters; rather, the focus is placed on the ratio of exit valuation to invested capital (VIC). Crunchbase News has previously covered exits that delivered high VIC ratios — or those tha...

What Silicon Valley tech VCs get wrong about consumer investing

Ryan Caldbeck Contributor Ryan Caldbeck is the founder and chief executive of the consumer and retail investment marketplace CircleUp. More posts by this contributor: When I began fundraising for CircleUp six years ago, I encountered many investors whose eyes would glaze over when I mentioned “consumer.” These investors would fidget uncomfortably or drop their gaze when I explained that our platform would only provide capital to small CPG companies. I would often hear the skeptical comments, such as, “an energy bar company can’t really get that big,” “baby food isn’t scalable,” and my personal favorite, “I can’t name a single consumer company” (real quote from a VC). Today, of course, the tone is much different. Scroll through tech news and you’ll see everything from Greylock Partners sing...

Marlin Equity Partners acquires social listening platform Talkwalker

Talkwalker, a cloud-based social media listening platform, announced today that it has been acquired by private equity firm, Marlin Equity Partners. The companies did not share terms of the deal. “We are not releasing exact details at this stage, but it’s substantial and it will make a big difference to what we will be able to achieve in the coming years,” a Talkwalker spokesperson told TechCrunch. In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Talkwalker CEO Robert Glaesener wrote that it was about having the resources to scale the company. “The founders and senior management have been working on this behind the scenes to ensure we can scale and future-proof the company, and I’m very pleased to announce that Marlin Equity Partners, one of the most prestigious global investment firms, has acqu...

Scaleworks announces pre-holiday surprise with Keen IO acquisition

Scaleworks, a private equity firm based in San Antonio, Texas, apparently couldn’t wait until after the holidays to share the news of its latest purchase. The firm announced it was acquiring Keen IO in a Medium blog post yesterday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and neither company was available for comment beyond the blog post, but Keen has raised close to $30 million since it was founded in 2011. Keen IO makes tools for developers to create customized analytics dashboards. Scaleworks’ general partner Ed Byrne, who penned the blog post announcement, described the company in these terms: “Keen.io, launched in 2011, set out to let developers create a custom analytics back-end. It lets companies easily build and embed all sorts of analytics for teams and customers and often powers the...

Apple has a history of choosing cash over startups

Apple has more cash than any other technology company on the planet. Yet, to date, that hasn’t translated into spending on acquisitions. Over the past five years, Apple has spent the least on M&A out of all the “Big Five” most valuable U.S. technology companies, a Crunchbase News analysis finds. That’s despite the fact that it is estimated to have more than $260 billion in cash and cash equivalents, including money parked in overseas accounts. So is it buying time yet? While this week’s $400 million acquisition of music discovery app Shazam indicates a willingness to make big-ticket purchases, history shows Apple has made these kinds of large deals pretty rarely. The numbers Since 2013, the iPhone maker shelled out a total of $5.1 billion in disclosed M&A deals, according to Crunch...